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Little Brown Bat

Myotis lucifugus


Brown bats flying low to the ground on a Summer night catching mosquito's. I could actually hear their squeaks above my head! Very fast flyers! As suggested by the bat’s name, its fur is uniformly dark brown and glossy on the back and upper parts with slightly paler, greyish fur underneath. Wing membranes are dark brown on a typical wingspan of 8.7–11 in. Ears are small and black with a short, rounded tragus. Adult bats are typically 2.4–3.9 in long and weigh (0.2–0.5 oz. Females tend to be larger than males. The bat has 38 teeth all of which including molars are relatively sharp, as is typical for an insectivore, and canines are prominent to enable grasping hard-bodied insects in flight. The little brown bat lives in three different roosting sites: day roosts, night roost and hibernation roosts. Little brown bats are insectivores, eating moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes, midges and mayflies, among others. Since many of their preferred meals are insects with an aquatic life stage, such as mosquitoes, they prefer to roost near water. Brown bats feed along the margins of lakes and streams, zig-zagging in and out of vegetation 2–5 cm above the ground. Later in the evening, they usually forage in groups over water staying within 1-2m above the surface. They echolocate to find their prey. They are very effective predators when the insect are in patches and at close range. As with other insectivorous bats, little brown bats catch prey by aerial hawking and gleaning tactics. When taken in flight, the prey is taken by swooping or dipping maneuvers. When above water, prey is taken by the mouth. Brown bats live approximately 6 to 7 years and often live well beyond 10 years. Little brown bats are preyed on by a variety of animals including, small carnivores, birds, rats and snakes. The average sleep time of a little brown bat in captivity is said to be 19.9 hours per day. This long period of sleep is thought to be a way of conserving energy, by only hunting for a few hours each night when their insect prey are available.


The little brown bat lives along streams and lakes. It forms nursery colonies in buildings. In the winter it hibernates in caves and mines. These were seen near a wooded area at a Park flying around the field. Perhaps the spotlights at night attracted more flying insects making this hunting area more desirable?

1 Species ID Suggestions

Ben Whitaker
Ben Whitaker 12 years ago
Brown bat
Myotis lucifugus

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Terri 12 years ago

Looking at the second picture ad seeing the size it could be a Big Brown Bat. Little Brown Bats or myotis are very tiny and fast fliers. Little Browns will fly with big browns so you may see both. An average Big Brown wing span is 11-13 inches across while the little brown is only 6-9 across. I hope that may help. =]

keithp2012 12 years ago

Thank You very much I have been seeing these little guys for years never knowing the species, but now I do!

NicoleB 12 years ago

Hard to catch indeed!
No idea what it could be though.
Lucky you to catch it at all :D

keithp2012 12 years ago

Could it be Big Brown Bat?

Spotted by

New York, USA

Spotted on Aug 31, 2011
Submitted on Jan 2, 2012

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